WICHITA, Kan. It all starts with a simple phone call.
"What they're telling these folks is that they have a virus on their computer and that they need to allow them remote access in so that they can clean their computer," said Better Business Bureau State Director Denise Groene.
The caller uses a well-known company, like Microsoft, to establish credibility. But falling for their false facade can open you up to trouble.
"Once you let them into your computer, they can do whatever they want," said Monkey Bytes Computer Repair Owner Matthew Kesterson. "If you have any private photos, they can look at them, if you have any private banking documents, they can look at them."
Groene says senior citizens have been most susceptible to this scam.
"Just a month ago we had a consumer in Topeka who lost $700 due to this exact scam, hers was a pop up window," Groene said. "She even stated that the Microsoft logo was on that pop up, so it looks legitimate, it looks very real."
Computer experts say Microsoft will never call you about a virus, so be cautious about who is on the other end of the line.
"Know that there's a lot of people out there trying to take you for a ride, take your money from you," Kesterson said. "If it feels funny, end it immediately."
If you fall victim to this scam, immediately power off your computer. This will end the connection with the attacker. Then run a full virus scan and quickly change all your passwords.
A link with advice from Microsoft is available below.